Monique in Better Off Dead (Diane Franklin)

Lane Meyer (John Cusack again) and French exchange student Monique are obviously meant for each other, but he spends his days mooning after blonde ex-girlfriend Beth (Amanda Wyss) and she passes the hours plotting her escape from a semi-hostage situation with Lane’s neighbor Ricky (Dan Schneider).

Monique is a notably fantastic female character for a high school ’80s movie — she’s the smartest, coolest and most capable character in the entire film, good at pitching, fixing cars, skiing, and much more. She’s also the best-dressed person on this list, with the possibly exception of Ducky.

Also, we just realized while doing our intensive research for this gallery that Diane Franklin, the actress who played Monique, is not, in fact, French. She’s just that good. The gold standard of cute brunette friends in ’80s movies.